OTTAWA, Sept. 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As Parliament prepares for a decisive vote on Tory MP Stephen Woodworth’s pro-life motion, Canada’s bishops have called on the faithful to pray for a positive outcome.

“As the House of Commons prepares to debate Motion 312, the Bishops of Canada invite all members of the Parliament of Canada to take into full account the sacredness of the unborn child and each human life,” said Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement Tuesday.

“We also encourage Canadian Catholics, and all people of good will, to pray that our legislators be blessed with wisdom and courage to do what is best to protect and further the common good, which is based on respect for the human dignity of all,” he added.

Motion 312 seeks a re-examination of section 223 of the Criminal Code, which states that a child only becomes a “human being” once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb. If passed, Parliament would set up a special committee to consider the medical evidence relating to the humanity of the unborn.

The motion is set for a debate on Friday, followed by a vote at second reading on Sept. 26th.

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Every party leader in Parliament is opposing the motion, including Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Woodworth has expressed doubt that he will be able to secure 50% of the votes.

But he has insisted that he will continue to defend the unborn “as long as I have breath.”

In his statement, Archbishop Smith explains that the Catholic Church “holds that a human being comes into existence at conception.” “The lives of human beings are, therefore, sacred at every stage in our existence—from beginning to natural end,” he said.

The statement comes as Canada’s bishops have pledged to take a more active role in promoting respect for life and family with the launch of a nation-wide pastoral plan, including a call for clergy and faithful across the country to get involved in the annual Marches for Life.

See the full statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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